Alison Morgan-Tansley


'Self Portrait [Photograph Aged 3]'

Alison Morgan TansleyThis piece of work was born from a desire to return to research done on the instability of memory and particularly, how, in the words of Barthes: 'not only is the photograph never in essence a memory... but blocks memory', and therefore can erase memory by substitution. Memory is 'ethereal – we think we can recall things when actually we are continually reconstructing things' (Topolsky). 'Self Portrait' is a reconstruction of a photograph (lovingly carried with me in a wallet) which converted into 1928 pages of code (from jpeg to word document).

In 'Another Way of Telling' John Berger states that ...'appearances in their unmediated state (before they have been interpreted or perceived) lend themselves to reference systems [codes], so that they can be stored at a certain level in the memory.

I was intrigued that each page of the word document coded for a piece of me (and was the memory of the image in its 'unmediated' state). By pinning each sheet to the board I was reconstructing myself (re-membering).

The construction of the piece encompassed a reflection of myself aged 3, but more importantly the physical process of putting it together along with the conscious and unconscious decisions during its making became an expression of me now, a self portrait.

Showing with the University of Nottingham's BA Fine Art:

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